Blu-Ray: The Beatles “Get Back” (Peter Jackson)! (30.4.2023)

As a family – we watched Peter Jackson’s ‘Get Back’ on Blu-Ray over the last three days – and have been spiritually nourished and inspired by the over-all experience! This is a biopic of The Beatles last days together, recording material that would eventually become released as their final album renamed ‘Let It Be’ – even though they would record one more (which would be released first) entitled ‘Abbey Road’. All the footage and sound has been entirely reconstituted using the same film technology that produced the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.

The effect is both stunning and spellbinding! When the footage was originally filmed in early 1969 (using all the latest technology of the time), no one could have envisaged a world 54 years later – possessing the Internet, digital photography and personal access to every record or film ever made! What was intended for a cinema release is now a intimate betrayal of The Beatles which can be enjoyed in your living room. As the filming unfolded – behind the scenes the Soviets and the Americans were competing in the Space Race (with the USSR achieving many ‘firsts’ for humanity) whilst the US would land on the Moon in 1969 only AFTER this Beatles footage was completed! Of course, US bombs were dropping on North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia!

As such, and given the contemporary feel Jackson’s restoration has engendered, Paul McCartney comes across as the key driving force behind the group’s creative talent. Whereas John Lennon appears easily distracted (and impressed by others) with Ringo Starr and George Harrison seeming comparatively withdrawn whilst playing their cards close to their chests. And then there was Yoko Ono… I must make reference to ‘Mal Evans’ – a name often mentioned with respect and consideration throughout all Beatles biographies.

This tall British (working-class) man was with The Beatles from the beginning wearing his NHS specs (older British people will understand this reference to a ‘Socialist’ Britain now long gone) – acting as their driver, road manager, ad hoc administrator and fulfilling any number of other rolls that existed between the official ‘Management’ and ‘The Beatles’ proper. He was there in the Philippines when the totalitarian (Catholic) government of the Marcos Dictatorship ‘Ordered’ that the population violently ‘attack’ The Beatles whilst on tour! Brian Epstein (the ‘Manager’) was beatan so badly he would never fully recover – and would die a year later in 1967!

Like many wealthy people – The Beatles were drawn to the US. Yoko Ono lived there as a defeated Japan has become a post-1945 colony of the US. She attracted John Lennon to this country – and it would eventually cost him his life (during 1980) – but America took the life of another ‘Beatles’ associated individual – namely that of ‘Mal Evans’! Whilst living in LA during 1976 – Mal Evans was involved in a domestic dispute. His partner telephoned the Police and when Officers arrived – Mal Evans answered the door holding an air gun. When he failed to put down the gun – the insane individuals who represented the ‘Police’ on that day took the decision to shoot him dead! His ashes were subsequently ‘lost’ in transport back to the UK!

Interested viewers can watch ‘Get Back’ and compare how the ‘unarmed’ and less manic British Police acted when there had received around ’30’ complaints about the noise levels over London during late January, 1969! These (unarmed) British Police Constables are stern, disapproving and slightly brooding and intimating – and despite Billy Preston being within arms reach at one-point – no direct action was taken once the (short) rooftop concert had come to an end! Despite the obvious lack of space – the engineers and technicians had to find room for Yoko Ono’s chair – as it was an unwritten rule that she could not be anymore than three-feet away from John Lennon – in case he developed the capacity for ‘free-thought’ whilst out of her direct presence and influence…